Five home runs not enough for Frazier

Published Apr. 5, 2012 11:09 a.m. ET

Leading the team in home runs (5) and RBI (15) during spring training apparently wasn't enough for infielder/outfielder Todd Frazier to make the big league team, as the Cincinnati Reds announced Wednesday that they were optioning him to Triple-A Louisville.

"That's a very tough move," Reds manager Dusty Baker told "It happened to me from morning to afternoon. I was told in the morning I made the team (with Atlanta). I hit a couple of home runs. Then in the afternoon, they told me they changed their mind."

While the Reds could use Frazier's bat, they also needed to create a roster spot for right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon, who was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Tuesday. Ergo, Frazier gets demoted and Simon makes the 25-man Opening Day roster.

"This is the best I've seen him since I've been here," Baker said of Frazier. "This is the best start he's had since I've been here. He's right there knocking on the door. He's going to go down and play mostly third in case something happens to Scottie (Rolen), especially with (Juan) Francisco being traded.

"I talked to (Louisville manager) David Bell. I told Frazier I had two exceptional third basemen - one in Matt Williams, one in David Bell. The only difference is Mattie had the stronger arm. (Frazier will) go get special instruction from one of the best. He'll still play some corner outfield. But we feel for his sake and our sake he needs the most reps at third."

As for where Simon will fit into the Reds' pitching plans, don't ask Baker -- at least not yet.

"I've never seen him throw," Baker said. "Our scouts liked him."